Pre-Trip Tasks and Planning.
1. Department discovers need for an employee to travel.
2. Traveler researches and estimates costs for all travel-related expenses.
3. Traveler submits to the department's SAP Travel Coordinator a detailed estimate of the travel expenses for subsequent entry of the Travel Request into the SAP Automated Travel system. For every cost object from which funds are to be committed for the trip, electronic approval is required by the cost-object-responsible person on the appropriately executed SAP Travel Request.
4. When airline reservations must be booked, traveler or department staff contacts the University travel agency. The cost object to which the airline ticket must be charged should be designated at that time. The cost of the ticket may not be split between two cost objects.
5. Conference registrations are completed and processed, as necessary.
6. If lodging accommodations can be direct-billed to the University, department forwards purchase requisition to Business Services so that Purchase Order can be prepared and forwarded to vendor.
NOTE: If major changes occur in estimated travel costs before the time of departure, the department's SAP Travel Coordinator will need to modify the original SAP Travel Request and electronically reroute the Request to the cost-object-responsible persons for electronic ratification of the changes. The changes must be made in SAP before actual expenses may be recorded on the corresponding SAP Expense Statement related to that trip.
Pre-trip Authorization. A pre-trip authorization is required for all business travel by University employees including travel involving University-owned vehicles. (See below to determine if a blanket pre-trip authorization may be used.) If a blanket pre-trip authorization is not appropriate, a separate documented pre-trip authorization is required and must be completed as an automated SAP Travel Request by the department's SAP Travel Coordinator with appropriate electronic approvals. Travelers may not authorize their own trips. Implicit in each authorization is the approval of meals only if they are purchased in a location other than the city of the traveler's home and/or primary work location, and the approval of the traveler's use of a personal vehicle for business travel when deemed appropriate by the traveler's travel approver.
Blanket Pre-trip Authorization. A blanket pre-trip request may be made and approved for recurring in-state travel or any out-of-state travel conducted by an employee during a semester or fiscal year that is related to a single and ongoing business purpose. A blanket pre-trip request may not be approved if the funds to pay for the trip are to be expended from more than one cost object during a semester or fiscal year or when a trip is for a particular purpose that falls outside the scope of any current blanket pre-trip authorization on file for the traveler. The blanket authorization may be accomplished using the Blanket Travel Request form which must be kept on file in the department. Blanket authorizations must be replaced with new authorizations at the beginning of each new fiscal year (on July 1).
Requests for Planning Assistance. After you have carefully reviewed the policies and procedures set forth herein, please contact the Accounts Payable Office (865-8419) for assistance if you have questions or require further clarification about expense- or reimbursement-related problems arising as you plan an upcoming business trip.